Mayor offers progress, hears persistent concerns - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mayor offers progress, hears persistent concerns

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber's Listening Tour made a stop Tuesday night in South Jackson.

While the mayor updated residents on progress, they still had an earful of concerns about problems many in the audience shared.

"I've been calling you since they broke into my business, robbed it and stabbed my employee," said the owner of a business in the Bel Air Shopping Center who would not give her name.

The woman shared her frustration and was looking for answers from the city's Police chief and Mayor during the Listening Tour at Cardozo Middle School.

"I've lost 21% of my business since January because the customers are too afraid to come on highway 80 and pay their premium," said the business owner.

In response Chief Lee Vance said he would make no excuses, but crime is dropping. 

"The numbers that we produced on a weekly basis show declines all over the city," said Vance. "Where your business is in Precinct 2 we recently awarded them a crime reduction award." 

The audience shared tough but familiar questions about infrastructure progress, handling youth crime, business crimes and increased estimated water bills.

The mayor told residents that the city has turned a corner;  property crime is  down 50% and street repaving will begin next week using the 1% sales tax dollars.

He also announced a ward by ward Pothole Blitz, based on 311 action line calls and prioritized based on the urgency of repair.

"For the most part progress is being made and we understand that it's frustrating and at times it seems like nothing is happening and it's slow but this is a process again that is going to take more time than we would like it to be but it's been something that's been festering for more than 50 years now," said Mayor Yarber.

The mayor ended the session by addressing speculation about his role in bids and RFPs (Requests for Proposals) regarding the awarding of contracts in the city. He told residents he had no hand in steering projects and the delays in votes is hindering city progress.       

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